Wow. The response to my Mario blanket has been simply overwhelming. Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm just jazzed that there are folks out there who think it's as cool as I did. :)
This is going to be kinda like a FAQ blog post from the many questions I've received either on here or on various message boards.
1. What pattern did you use? Is there a pattern available? Are there charts available? etc.
A: There is no pattern that I followed. I searched the internet for screen shots of SMB and then used them for the map I had in my head. There is no "master graph" for any of the panels, much less for the entire project.
ETA: I posted a video on YouTube and showed the master map for my blanket as well as 2 of the sprites I used AND a "graph" of one of the panels. I know some folks *coughboingboingcough* were a little incredulous that I didn't have graphs for the project....now you'll see for yourself!
The most involved panel was the battle scene and is the only one I drew out. I have absolutely no intention of creating a graph of my entire work; however, there may be a time when I decide to make a graph of a panel or two.....dunno when/if that will happen, though. I'll definitely post here when I do. :)
2. What yarn did you use? How much yarn did you use?
A. I used mainly Red Heart Super Saver. There was at least one TLC Heathers (the brown in Mario) and Vanna's Choice (the cream in the bricks) and the skin is a peach Caron Simply Soft....but mainly RHSS. They had the best colors!!! And, considering the amount of yarn that went into this baby, it was the most economically prudent yarn to use. I've weighed it (without the border) and it weighs a little over 7 pounds and will be maybe 8 pounds with the border. I didn't want wool because it'd be too scratchy for a blanket and, again, acrylic is just a little more wallet friendly. :)
3. I didn't know crochet could make images like that. What kind of stitch did you use? What size hook?
A. The reason the images came out so crisp and accurate is because I used Tunisian crochet- the stitches are more or less square and there is no turning of the work so there is only the "right side" when you are working. I used a size "I" afghan hook. I just filmed a short video tutorial on how to do Tunisian crochet and will upload it this weekend. I think one of the things I'm most proud of is that I have gotten to show so many people that crochet isn't some old timer's way of passing time for just making doilies. It can be, and is indeed, ART. Going to start on a TP cozy tomorrow.... ;) HA!
ETA: video can now be found on YouTube here.
4. What does the back look like? Did you weave in the ends? Are you going to put a backing on it?
A. The back is not even close to being finished and looks like this:
I'm definitely NOT weaving in all the ends- did you see that picture??? I'm going to tie them into square knots and trim them and then sew some sort of (light weight) material on as a back. Not quite sure how I'll do it, but I'm pretty good at figuring things out...
My hubby has offered to help me with all the tying....he knows how lucky he is!!!! Especially after reading some of the hilarious responses (and marriage proposals) I've received. :) Men seem to really appreciate this work. Wow- a crochet blanket a man actually wants made for him!
5. What are you going to do with the original panels? Are you going to sew them together or make pillows?
A. YES! I actually made this pillow a few weeks ago but didn't post it because I wanted to reveal all the panels (except for the 2 I teased with) as a whole.
I simply crocheted them together and stuffed with fiber fill. It's incredibly soft and has gotten a lot of use already! We just have to keep the cats' claws trimmed so as to not snag it.... This is the only pillow I'll be making from the Originals since these two panels were the only two that came out well, color change wise. Hubby has asked for other pillows, though, so I'll be making them later.
6. What are you going to do for a border?
A. From the beginning, I was debating between using either the brick pattern or the ground tile pattern for the border. I envisioned it like a picture frame around the blanket and either of those two work. However, after I finished all the panels and saw the monstrous size of this behemoth , I thought, "I'm going to be 120 before I finish this thing!" and was seriously considering just doing a plain black border just to be DONE. But, I didn't take the easy way out with this project and am not going to with the border, either, so I'll be starting it this weekend. That gives me a solid week of rest since finishing, which I seriously needed. :) Which one of the two border choices, though....I dunno. The bricks have only 2 colors, which makes for a (hopefully) quicker border; however, as someone pointed out, I don't have the ground tiles represented in my blanket. Sooo.....suggestions??
7. You must have so much patience to crochet for a year and a half on one project!
A. No- no patience...at all. I had a lot of fun planning it out- it literally came to me in a dream. I had to tweak it a little while I was making it, but for the most part, that first map I drew is what you see today. My husband is the one with the patience- he had to put up with a ghost of a wife while I worked on it. I didn't call it "my obsession" for nothing....I seriously felt like Isaac from "Heroes" (or any other "future painters") when he got an artistic impulse....my eyes glazed over and I worked and worked on it until it was done. Also, I crocheted the entire blanket in 2 months- not a year and a half. I started it a year and a half ago, but since I had to scrap all but one of my original panels, all of my crocheting was between February 1 and March 28.
8. Have you really only been crocheting for a year?
A. No- it's been a year and a half. ;) I had wanted to crochet and/or knit since I was a kid, but that seemed to be the only artsy/crafty thing my mom didn't do. My aunt did and I always wanted her to teach me, but something or other always happened and I never learned. So, mid summer 2007, I bought one of those "I Taught Myself Crochet" kits from WalMart and...well...taught myself how to crochet. I couldn't get the hang of holding the crochet hook "correctly" with my index finger in the air, so I watched some videos I found on youtube. I found someone who held it differently- I tried it and VOILA! It just clicked. This is why I've decided to put up crochet videos- hopefully my videos will help others like the ones I saw helped me.
I started on the blanket a few months later- fall 2007. The vast majority of my stuff (actually, everything I've posted on here) has been my own pattern- the purses, the scarves, the Mario blanket. I've made a few Round Ripple blankets (just realized I never posted about them...) but those may be the only things I've made with a pattern. I've always been creative, but I never knew I was "artistic" until I got that hook and yarn in my hands. Some people paint with acrylic paints....I paint with acrylic yarn!
9. What are you working on next?
A. Something small and not as involved... :) I have a couple of purses that are almost done- need to line at least 2. I have a few other projects swirling around in my brain, but nothing as big as this.....yet. ;)
10. If I marry you, will you make me a blanket like that? Will you marry me?
11. Is the blanket for sale? How much is it?
A. Nope- it's for my husband. Very few people in the world could afford what we would even consider selling this for. However, if you do have the clams, I am definitely available for commission work. If not for something this huge, then for something half size (which will still be a good blanket size- about 6.5' x 5' with the border) or even something for a wall hanging (for which the Battle Scene would be great!). Same goes for my purses and scarves. My email is on my profile page- contact me and we can work something out. :)
I hope this has answered all the questions I've been getting. Until next time, Zoobaroos!